Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Tue Nov 05, 2013 15:21 EST
GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan, November 5, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Michigan pro-life group is arguing in a new lawsuit that it is unconstitutional for the Obama administration to force it to pay for insurance coverage that funds drugs that can cause exactly what the group is dedicated to fighting – abortion.
Right to Life of Michigan has filed a federal lawsuit against the Obama government's Affordable Care Act, claiming that provisions in the health insurance scheme that would require the organization to provide insurance that covers contraceptives and abortion-causing drugs are a violation of religious freedom and freedom from coerced speech.
"As an organization whose sole purpose is to advocate for the protection of human life, especially nascent human life, it is offensive to have the government impose on us a requirement to purchase something that violates our very mission," Ed Rivet, Legislative Director of Right to Life of Michigan, told LifeSiteNews.
"We are unique among plaintiffs in the various HHS Mandate cases," Mr Rivet explained. "We're not a business, we're not affiliated with a church. We don't take a position against all forms of birth control. But we could not remain passive in a case where we are being forced to purchase a so-called ‘health benefit’ that violates our conscience."
The lawsuit names Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Treasury and Labor departments and officials, as defendants.
The 45-page lawsuit, filed by attorney Michael Rizik Jr. on November 4 in the U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids, states that Right to Life of Michigan has 33 full-time employees and 10 part-time employees, and claims that the ObamaCare mandate violates the pro-life group's deeply held religious beliefs.
Right to Life of Michigan states that most of its employees are Catholic or Evangelical Christians, and that “All employees subscribed unequivocally to plaintiff’s sole and exclusive mission protecting life.”
“The mandate, therefore, forces employers and individuals to violate their religious beliefs," says the lawsuit, “because it requires employers and individuals to pay for insurance from insurance issuers which fund and directly provide for drugs, devices and services which violate their deeply held religious beliefs, as well, in this plaintiff, reasoned reflection, and sole reason for existence as an organization.”
The lawsuit also contends that the ObamaCare regulations violate constitutionally guaranteed freedom from coerced, government-dictated speech.
“Not only is abortion disordered, but it violates the due process of the laws accorded every human being, and belies reasoned reflection and scientific fact on when life begins. As such, abortion is an act of injustice, and the mandate forces (Right to Life) to violate its only reason for existence,” the statement of claim argues.
Right to Life of Michigan is asking the court to issue preliminary and permanent injunctions to stop the government from enforcing the mandate against themselves and other religious individuals, employers, companies and groups “that object to funding and providing insurance coverage for abortion, abortifacients, and related education and counseling."
BY BEN JOHNSON
Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:49 EST
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 1, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A bill to prohibit abortions after unborn children are capable of feeling pain will be introduced in the U.S. Senate next week, according to the National Right to Life Committee.
The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which bans abortions after 20 weeks fetal age or "22 weeks of pregnancy," would protect nearly all children from the sixth month of pregnancy forward.
Congressman Trent Franks, R-AZ, introduced the original bill
Congressman Trent Franks, R-AZ, introduced the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which passed the House on June 18 by a 228-196 vote.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill could save up to 2,750 babies a year, or 7.5 children every single day.
Susan T. Muskett, NRLC's senior legislative counsel, called the act “perhaps the most significant piece of pro-life legislation to come before the U.S. Congress since the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.”
But after passage in the House, the bill languished as Senate Republicans attempted to clarify the Constitutional argument to best advance the bill.
Senators Marco Rubio, R-FL, and Mike Lee, R-UT, had expressed an openness to introducing the motion. A pro-life congressman even attempted to add the measure to a must-pass bill to raise the debt ceiling in order to place it before the upper chamber.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC
The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) announced that Senator Lindsey Graham, R-SC, will introduce the bill next week.
Its prospects in the Democrat-controlled Senate are unclear. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has classified himself a “pro-life Democrat,” lumps the right to life in with various “fringe issues.”
If it comes to the floor for a vote, the pro-life movement hopes to find enough moderate Democrats to cross the aisle to support the measure.
President Obama has promised to veto the bill if it passes both chambers, calling its pro-life regulations “an assault on a woman's right to choose” and saying they show “contempt for...the Constitution.” The chamber is unlikely to override a presidential veto for the foreseeable future.
Nonetheless, the measure has widespread popular suport. A Huffington Post poll found in July that 59 percent of Americans favored federal legislation. Women and young people were more likely to support the ban.
Pro-lifers believe revelations about Kermit Gosnell's “house of horrors” and allegations made against Houston abortionist Douglas Karpen have made a deep impact on the nation's view of third-trimester abortions, and the people who offer them.
“Because of coverage surrounding the trial of Kermit Gosnell and subsequent revelations about other abortionists, many Americans are becoming aware for the first time that abortions are frequently performed late in pregnancy on babies who are capable of being born alive, and on babies who will experience great pain while being killed,” NRLC wrote in a letter to U.S. Senators after the announcement.
Although not in Franks' original bill, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor engineered the addition of exceptions in the case of rape or incest.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
RICHMOND, October 30, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An upset victory may be within reach for pro-life Republican underdog Ken Cuccinelli in the Virginia governor race, according to two new polls.
A Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday shows heavily-funded, Planned Parenthood-backed Terry McAuliffe up by only four points in the race for Virginia governor, slashing by two-thirds the lead a Washington Post poll credited him with just days ago.
A recent Wenzel Strategies survey of likely voters shows the race even closer than that, with McAuliffe with just a single point lead on Cuccinelli.
Earlier this week, a Washington Post poll showed McAuliffe leading with 51 percent of the vote to Cuccinelli’s 39 percent. But both the Quinnipiac and Wenzel polls used a turnout model weighted to reflect real-life voting trends in recent Virginia elections, meaning they may be more accurate than the Post’s prediction.
“State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is nipping at Terry McAuliffe’s heels as the race to be Virginia’s next governor enters the final week of the campaign,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
The Quinnipiac poll shows McAuliffe, a former Clinton fundraiser and past chairman of the Democratic National Committee, with only 45 percent of the likely vote, compared to Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s 41 percent. Another 9 percent of likely voters say they plan to choose Libertarian Robert Sarvis.
If Sarvis wasn’t a contender, Quinnipiac says the race would be even closer – 47 percent for McAuliffe and 45 percent for Cuccinelli, just a two-point difference.
“With the race this close, the final decision by the roughly one in 10 voters who are supporting Libertarian Robert Sarvis has become even more critical,” Brown said. “Nationally, third-party candidates often lose support in the end as voters enter the voting booth and back someone they consider the lesser of two evils.”
Added Brown, “It goes without saying that turnout is the key to this race and the harshly negative tone of the campaign is the kind that often turns off voters.”
The campaign has indeed been a vicious one, with McAuliffe reaching deep into the pockets of his Clinton-era connections for millions of dollars to spend on ads attacking Cuccinelli for his pro-life, conservative values.
In recent weeks, McAuliffe has outspent Cuccinelli ten-to-one on advertising designed to paint the attorney general as an “extremist” mounting a “war on women” because of his opposition to abortion-on-demand and the controversial HHS contraception mandate. (Cuccinelli was the first state attorney general to mount a constitutional challenge to the mandate.)
Additionally, Planned Parenthood’s political action arm has dumped more than a million dollars into the race on McAuliffe’s behalf, while their president, Cecile Richards, has called Cuccinelli’s defeat the abortion giant’s “top priority.”
Despite the lopsided spending, Cuccinelli has enjoyed a sudden surge ahead of Tuesday’s election, with the Wenzel Strategies poll giving him 40 percent of likely voters, compared to 41 percent for McAuliffe.
“The survey shows there is reason to believe the race may well be tightening going into the final stretch,” said pollster Fritz Wenzel. “As the shutdown fades, another key issue that benefits Cuccinelli – the expanding controversy over the bungled rollout of Obamacare – is bound to grab more attention among voters by the day. It could well be that Cuccinelli has bounced off his low point and is headed up.”
Indeed, Cuccinelli has tried to seize on the opportunity to tie McAuliffe to the failed launch of President Obama’s signature healthcare legislation, just as Obama is slated to join McAuliffe on the campaign trail this weekend.
“It’s telling that in the final moments of the campaign for governor, Terry McAuliffe has decided to campaign with President Obama,” Cuccinelli said Wednesday. “The move makes official what we have already known to be true: McAuliffe’s unwavering support for the President’s signature legislative achievement, Obamacare.
“The law is already preventing hiring and job growth across Virginia, driving up the cost of insurance for families and forcing employers to drop coverage for workers. Now we also know that Obama Administration officials, including the President himself, were knowingly misleading the public when they said that the American people would be able to stay on their health plans despite the new law.”
“If McAuliffe wanted to do right by the people of Virginia, he would ask the President to apologize for misleading the public so spectacularly,” said Cuccinelli. “That, of course, is unlikely, since McAuliffe was an ardent supporter of the law, so much so that he thought it didn’t go far enough.”
McAuliffe has been supportive of Obamacare, going so far as to make large portions of his economic plan for Virginia dependent on the law’s success. To pay for McAuliffe’s economic wish list – which includes significant expansions to social services not covered by current budgetary projections – the cash-strapped federal government must come through on its promise to provide federal subsidies to cover the 400,000 people he wants to add to the state’s Medicaid rolls.
Cuccinelli said that’s unlikely to happen, and noted that even the Washington Post, which endorsed McAuliffe, admitted the Democrat’s dependence on the Medicaid expansion provision of Obamacare for his economic plan’s success is a recipe for disaster.
Virginia’s election will be held Tuesday, November 5. Polls open at 6:00 AM and close at 7:00 PM, EST.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Updated 10/30/13 at 2:37pm EST
Oct. 30, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – During testimony this morning before the House Energy & Commerce Committee, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said she doesn't know whether the administration can commit to ensuring that Americans seeking to purchase health insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's (ACA) exchanges can be told which plans do or do not cover abortion.
Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) asked Sebelius if she could “commit to us that the federal exchanges that offer that is clearly identified, so people can understand if they’re gonna buy a policy that has abortion coverage or not, because right now you cannot make that determination.”
“I don’t know," Sebelius answered. She continued, "I know exactly the issue you’re talking about. I will check and make sure that is clearly identifiable.”
Earlier this month, Rep. Chris Smith had introduced a bill that will ensure that companies will no longer be able to hide whether their plans cover abortion and will charge enrollees a $1 monthly abortion surcharge.
Shimkus followed up by asking Sebelius to “provide for the Committee” which insurers “in the federal exchange” are not offering abortion coverage. Sebelius said, “I think we can do that, sir.”
Rep. Smith told LifeSiteNews.com today that Sebelius' statement is an "outrage." "It doesn’t pass the straight face test and it’s just not believable—that at this stage Sebelius cannot, or will not, tell consumers how to find out whether the plans they are considering include abortions that painfully dismember or chemically poison unborn children."
“Why are they hiding?" he said.
The ACA currently mandates that insurance companies that are part of the law's state exchanges not disclose whether they pay for elective abortions until enrollment.
Section 1303(b)(2) of the law specifically states that agents “shall provide information only with respect to the total amount of the combined payments” – and not about abortion coverage.
One of the most controversial aspects of the Affordable Care Act has been its coverage of abortion.
The ACA contains the most radical departure from the principles of the Hyde amendment to become federal law since the 1970s. It deviates from decades of abortion policy by allowing taxpayer money to flow to plans that include coverage for abortion on demand. As a part of this deviation from the Hyde amendment, plans that include abortion will charge a mandatory $1 abortion surcharge.
President Obama signed an Executive Order in March 2010 that ostensibly prevented the Act from covering abortion except when consistent with the Hyde Amendment – in cases of rape, incest, and life of the mother. However, months later, in at least three states - New Mexico, Maryland, and Pennsylvania - the Administration tried to use funding under the Act to fund non-Hyde Amendment abortions. Pro-life activists responded, stopping the effort.
With the HHS mandate introduced in January 2012, mandating that employers provide insurance that includes coverage of contraception and some abortifacient drugs, the issue of abortion funding has led to dozens of lawsuits against the federal government, including one by the business Hobby Lobby and the Catholic organization Little Sisters of the Poor.
Representative Smith's (R-NJ) H.R. 3279, the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2013, has 108 co-sponsors.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
by Rebecca Downs | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 10/29/13 3:02 PM
TheBlaze recently reported on the story of a remarkable girl, Keelan Glass, who is just six years old and the youngest person to complete a half-marathon, doing so in less than three hours.
Keelan, from Texas, did the half-marathon in Dallas, with her mother, Tracy, a triathlete. That the mother-daughter pair did the run together, and that Keelan set a record is sweet enough. But Keelan was, as of October17, able to raise $2,855 for Pregnancy Resources of Abilene.
TheBlaze links to reporting from KTXS, with those pieces including videos to learn more about Keelan.
While some have questioned as to if it is a good idea for Keelan to have done the half-marathon, Tracy mentions that she and her husband consulted a physician. Keelan then signed up for LifeRunners. From KTXS:
LifeRunners is the world’s largest pro-life running group, as it has more than 1,500 runners/walkers, ages 4 to 79, in 44 states and 10 other countries.
The group prays together before races, fundraises for local pro-life organizations, and trains together monthly. LifeRunners was founded in 2008 by two Catholic friends and although predominately linked to Catholic churches, it is open to all denominations.
What is perhaps even more endearing is that Keelan doesn’t seem to understand that she has said a record. As her mother said for KTXS, in the piece published after the race:
Tracy said he daughter has a world record now and doesn’t even know what it means.
“That’s the thing,” Tracy said. “She doesn’t really even understand how amazing it is.”
No she doesn’t. Keelan said what’s more important to her is why she did the race in the first place: to raise money for Pregnancy Resources of Abilene. To date she’s raised $2,855.
“I love the fact that she does it for a bigger reason,” Tracy said. “It’s fun for her and it’s about running but she wanted to use her skills for something different and people saw that. They were asking her about her shirt and the announcer told her whole story. I don’t think she realizes what a big impact she has on people.”
In describing how she was able to run the race, Keelan mentioned that “…God makes me keep on running.”
It is truly amazing that God has given Keelan and Tracy each the gift of running, but also that He has imparted such literal child-like enthusiasm and concern on Keelan. The pro-life movement and LifeRunners is fortunate to have such a runner as Keelan Glass.
LifeNews Note: Rebecca Downs is currently a senior in college where she is involved in the Respect for Life club there. Upon graduation she hopes to pursue a career in the political world, specifically to do with the pro life movement.
| by BEN SHAPIRO
28 Oct 2013, 5:53 AM PDT
On Monday, pro-abortion groups across the country launched an organized effort to feature women telling uplifting stories of their abortions. The so-called “1 in 3” week of action will feature 100 events in 32 states, and began in Washington D.C. According to the Advocates for Youth, one in three women in the United States will at some point have an abortion. Advocates from Washington D.C. who will lead off the event include Deb Hauser of the Advocates for Youth; Ilyse Hogue, NARAL Pro-Choice America; Andrea Gleaves, Women’s Information Network; and many more. The “1 in 3” organizers will also be handing out a book: 1 in 3: These Are Our Stories. Tellingly, organizers suggest that their goal is to keep abortion “safe, legal, and affordable” – a marked change from the old pro-choice slogan from the Clinton years, “safe, legal, and rare.” The organizers also want to “end the stigma” surrounding abortion.
Helping to end that stigma includes recruiting celebrities to be part of the “1 in 3” campaign. MTV star Katie Stack of 16 and Pregnant will be joining the campaign. Speaking with ThinkProgress, Stack said, “That experience with MTV really reinforced for me that it can be really powerful to provide these opportunities and to allow stories to heard — stories that are complex, and that don’t necessarily fit a pro-choice or pro-life narrative.”
The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor will host an event called an “abortion speak-out,” at which Stack will appear. “It’s very hard to talk about abortion without the negativity, without calling people murderers, without the judgment,” Stack explained. “The speak-out event is almost an experiment to see if it’s possible. Hopefully it is. I know Carly has taken a lot of steps to make it a safe space, but it’s really hard to authentically create a safe space to share these stories.”
Stack told ThinkProgress, “The fact of the matter is, no matter what anyone wants to debate about abortion and its morality, I feel that I made the right decision. And that’s threatening to people, the fact that I will say that.”
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013). Follow Ben on Twitter @benshapiro.
VICTORVILLE, CA, October 25, 2013 (Operation Rescue) – After just 42 days in business, a patient at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Victorville was rushed to the hospital suffering from an unspecified medical emergency.
However, the Victorville clinic is not supposed to be doing abortions. The incident raises questions about what services are actually going on inside that Planned Parenthood office, and whether the emergency was related to abortion.
An ambulance arrived at the Planned Parenthood clinic at about 5:30 p.m. on October 21, a half hour after the business was scheduled to close for the day. A woman was removed from the clinic on a gurney and rushed to the hospital.
The incident was reported to Operation Rescue by a local pro-life activist who filmed the incident on a cell phone.
“This is the first medical emergency at this Planned Parenthood, but it surely won’t be the last. Pro-life supporters who worked to prevent this clinic from opening were correct to be concerned for women’s safety, as this incident shows,” said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue. “The city council that approved this dangerous abortion operation bears responsibility for every injury and death.”
Click here to view more photos and watch the raw video.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
RICHMOND, VA, October 21, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A political arm of the nation’s biggest abortion provider has spent nearly all of its cash on ads opposing Republican Ken Cuccinelli, the strongly pro-life candidate for Virginia governor.
On Friday, Planned Parenthood VOTES, a federal SuperPAC run by the abortion giant, reported it had spent nearly $1.1 million on a new anti-Cuccinelli ad buy, leaving the PAC with only $73,746 to pay its remaining bills, which total $59,919.
Planned Parenthood has worked closely with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe throughout the campaign, producing ads and mailings branding Cuccinelli an extremist for his pro-life views and his determination to end public funding of the abortion group. The Virginia governor’s race has garnered significant attention from Planned Parenthood, whose president, Cecile Richards, has called Cuccinelli’s defeat her “top priority.”
One mailing called Cuccinelli “extremely dangerous for women” because he fought for restrictions on abortion-on-demand as attorney general, and as a state senator voted to overturn then-Democratic Governor Mark Warner's veto of the partial birth abortion ban. He also drafted Virginia’s parental consent law, led efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, and demanded the state's abortion facilities meet the same health standards as other surgical centers. “Ken is way out there,” the mailing warned.
But according to Cuccinelli spokeswoman Anna Nix, it is McAuliffe who is the true extremist, for supporting “taxpayer funded abortions, abortion up to the moment of birth, and abortion for sex selection.”
Planned Parenthood also paired up with McAuliffe to launch a website, “Keep Ken Out,” devoted toattacking the Republican candidate for his pro-life views.
“Access to safe and legal abortion, and even contraception, would be at risk in a Cuccinelli Administration,” the website claims. “The future of Virginia women’s health hangs in the balance, that’s why we’re going to make sure voters know exactly how out-of-touch he is, and why we need to keep Ken out of the governor’s office.”
The abortion giant’s newest ad offensive will infuse fresh out-of-state cash into the final weeks of a campaign that was already flush with it, at least on the Democratic side. As a former Clinton fundraiser and Democratic National Committee Chairman, Terry McAuliffe has access to many of the deepest pockets on the political Left, and he hasn’t been shy about cashing in on those connections. McAuliffe has outpaced Cuccinelli in fundraising by nearly double. Nearly three-quarters of his vast $25 million war chest came from out-of-state.
But even without McAuliffe’s deep political reach, this is a race that likely would have attracted significant national involvement. In an off year when high profile political races are few and far between, Washington insiders see an opportunity in Virginia – which, like the nation, is fairly evenly split between red and blue – to send a message to the rest of the country.
In an attempt to raise his national profile, Cuccinelli gave the weekly Republican address this week, calling the Obamacare rollout “a national embarrassment.”
“Let me be plain, the law that carries the president’s name is the hallmark of a reckless federal government that has lost its way,” Cuccinelli said in his address, and reminded viewers that he was the first state attorney general to challenge Obamacare’s constitutionality.
The attorney general also opposes the HHS mandate, an Obamacare provision requiring employers to provide full, copay-free coverage for contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion-causing drugs.
“Everywhere you look, there’s more evidence that Obamacare was fundamentally broken even before it started,” Cuccinelli said.
The pro-life candidate is hoping to rally social- and small-government conservatives nationwide to carry his candidacy through the final weeks of a relentless onslaught of campaign spending by thewell-heeled social liberals who are financing his opponent’s efforts.
Victoria Cobb, president of the Virginia-based Family Foundation, told LifeSiteNews.com in February that with Virginia in the spotlight, Cuccinelli will need his grassroots supporters to dig deep to have any chance of winning against McAuliffe’s well-oiled, well-fueled political machine.
That out-of-state pressure “should serve as a reminder of just how important this year’s elections in Virginia are going to be. Because only Virginia has a potentially competitive statewide race, national interest groups are going to spend millions of dollars to influence the outcome,” said Cobb.
BY KIRSTEN ANDERSEN
Thu Oct 17, 2013 16:38 EST
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 17, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – After a contentious special election battle that saw a predicted coronation become a competition, Democrat Cory Booker has defeated Republican Steve Lonegan in their mutual bid to replace Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), who died in June.
In a special election held Wednesday in New Jersey, Booker received 55 percent of the vote while Lonegan received 44 percent. This was an improved showing for Republicans in the solidly blue state, where President Barack Obama received 58 percent of the vote in 2012, and where the most recent Senate election saw the Democratic candidate get 58.4 percent of the vote to the Republican candidate’s 39.9 percent.
Booker received 55 percent of the vote while Lonegan received 44 percent.
In the final days before the special election, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a registered Independent, flooded Booker’s campaign with $1 million in extra cash to help seal the Democratic contender’s victory. Bloomberg is noted for his liberal social views, which align more closely with Booker’s platform than Lonegan’s.
Those social views took center stage during the run-up to the special election. In a political climate that has seen many campaigns minimize controversial social issues in favor of popular fiscal catchphrases like “job creation” and “tax reform,” Booker and Lonegan took the opposite approach, exchanging frequent verbal blows about social issues ranging from gay adoption to partial birth abortion.
Booker, 44, is the current mayor of Newark and a vehement supporter of both abortion-on-demandand homosexual causes. In developing his platform, he sought guidance and support from NARAL Pro-Choice America, who encouraged him to broaden his support for taxpayer funding of abortion. Booker also co-chaired the most recent Democratic National Convention, at which he successfully pushed to remove the word “rare” from the part of the party platform that used to say abortion should be “safe, legal and rare.” Liberal commentator Cokie Roberts later confronted Booker about theconvention, calling it “over the top” in its support for abortion-on-demand.
In a phone interview last Thursday with LifeSiteNews.com, Republican hopeful Steve Lonegan pulled no punches about his pro-life, pro-family stance.
“I’m about as pro-life as they come,” Lonegan told LifeSiteNews.com. “Life begins at conception, and I hold the sanctity of human life at the highest level of respect.”
During the campaign, Booker frequently criticized Lonegan for his opposition to abortion even in the case of rape and incest. Lonegan , however, was unapologetic.
“I think it’s hypocritical and illogical to state that you believe life begins at conception, that a life is sacred, unless that life was created under bad circumstances,” Lonegan told LifeSiteNews. “Rape is a terrible thing. But you don’t punish an innocent baby for that.”
According to Monmouth University political scientist Patrick Murray, the relative closeness of the race should be a warning sign to Booker, who turned voters off not only with his extreme views on abortion, but with questions about his integrity in the face of scandals, including a $700,000 severance payment from his former law firm that many viewed as a kickback in exchange for a $2 million government contract, and shady dealings with tech startup Waywire.
Murray told USA Today, “Even if they don't show up in as great a number as Republicans, you're still looking at a significant advantage for any Democrat running statewide. And so Booker needs to take a lesson from this.”
While Murray said that “a double-digit win is still a double-digit win,” he warned Booker that his victory was “nowhere near the kind of win that the underlying dynamics suggested should happen.”
Added Murray, “[Booker] has to work harder to prove to New Jerseyans that he is in it to serve them.”
New Jerseyans will not have to wait long to weigh in on Booker’s worthiness. His election to the Senate is valid only through early 2015, when Lautenberg’s terms would have expired. He will face re-election in November 2014.
Correction: We originally identified Michael Bloomberg as a Republican, but he left the party in 2007 and is currently registered as in Independent. We regret the error.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Mon Oct 14, 2013 13:02 EST
CLEVELAND, October 14, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A notorious abortion facility run by a late-term abortionist is officially closed, Ohio Right to Life reports.
This morning activists verified that the Center for Women's Health in Cleveland, whose closure was announced in September, had in fact shut its doors.
Its abortionist, Dr. Martin Ruddock, specialized in late-term abortion. According to Abby Johnson, Ruddock helped contribute to the development of the partial birth abortion technique and performed abortions up to 30 weeks gestation.
In 1997, a co-worker said the partial birth abortion method of dilation and extraction – in which a child is partially delivered, then has his skull punctured with scissors and brains suctioned out – was Ruddock's “surgery of choice” for women after 20 weeks gestation.
Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a bill banning abortion after 20 weeks if the child is found to be viable outside the womb, which undercut Ruddock's practice. Ruddock told associates he may move to another state with less restrictive laws.
Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis said his departure reflected Ohio's mainstream values.
"The fact that this late-term abortionist closed down and moved out of this state demonstrates that common sense pro-life legislation saves lives," he said. "Ohioans overwhelming oppose late-term abortions and reject these despicable practices by so-called doctors like Martin Ruddock and the abortion industry."
The late-term abortionist has a long history of botched abortions, hurting women, and violating state regulations.
Last November, Ruddock's facility called 911 to report a patient had been hurt and was “bleeding bad.” Just weeks earlier, Ruddock personally dialed emergency personnel after a 26-year-old woman began having adverse effects from an abortion he performed.
Ruddock attempted to defend himself during 911 calls, telling one operator, “I'm a surgeon!”
In 2003, he complained of an “obese” patient's excessive bleeding, telling the 911 emergency responder the woman was stable. “I just can’t stop the bleeding,” he said. “I can’t see what I’m doing, and I want her out of here.”
In 2006, the Ohio Department of Health temporarily closed Ruddock's suburban Cleveland business for more than a dozen violations of the state code, including not taking patients' vital signs before surgery and lacking an emergency transfer agreement with a local hospital.
"It appears that Martin Ruddock had a consistent track record for disregarding health standards and putting women's lives in danger," Gonidakis said. "Women are safer today in Cuyahoga County, because this abortion clinic is closed.”
Despite – or perhaps because of – his record, Ruddock has fought additional safety and health regulations from the state for more than a decade. In 1999, he said that, as "a private physician's office, we don't need to qualify as an ambulatory facility.” He added that more stringent measures to protect women "are burdensome and unnecessary regulations that have nothing to do with quality health care."
The closure of Center for Women's Health, located in the tony suburb of Shaker Heights, is the state's third in six months.
Another facility where Ruddock plies is trade, the Center for Choice located in Toledo, was closed in June after none of its practitioners could not win admitting privileges at local hospitals, as required by a new Ohio law.
Cleveland's Capital Care Network also closed this year.
Nationwide, CWH was the 44th abortion business to close this year, according to Operation Rescue.
“When abortionists like Ruddock shut down, it takes us one step closer to an end to abortion,” said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue.
Gonidakis hopes Newman is right. He said, “We hope that more abortion clinics will close, innocent lives will be saved, and that the abortion industry will continue to be exposed for what it truly.”